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Šefčovič, who was painted by Whitehall as "reasonable" (as opposed to "robotic Barnier"), was the first to throw the book at the UK. I don't see anyone in Brussels, or in any EU capital, willing to make any concessions to the Tories. Not now; not after the AZ export blow-up; not after the NI protocol breaches.

If it looked, to many EU countries, mostly a matter of principle, but one that still got them united behind the EC and its now retired chief negotiator, the vaccine crisis has really brought home the point that disregarding principles has real-life consequences. It has effectively been the Great Equalizer among all the EU27.

Even if the higher number of vaccinated people gives the Tories some bragging rights today, I don't see any evidence that the whole Brexit thing is doing so great.  Businesses are still relocating to the continent, the EU won't cut them any slack, Biden is still Irish and the only passenger rail link between the UK and continental Europe may shutdown because the Tories are unwilling to fund it (Eurostar's UK shares have been bought back by the French and Belgian railways some years ago).

It's good that so many Britons have been already vaccinated because they have suffered enough already: the UK has by far the highest Covid death toll of all the European nations. However, there's no guarantee they will be able to continue at this rate without further imports from the EU, especially considering they have purposely delayed the second injection to cover more people with a first jab.

by Bernard on Fri Apr 2nd, 2021 at 09:04:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems likely the Brexit economic impact will be drawn out over several years at least. Small companies might internalize losses in order to stay in business for a while, big companies can draw on their cash resources. And mixing the COVID-19 damage in with the Brexit numbers will give politicians cover. It might be five years before equilibrium is reached?
by asdf on Sat Apr 3rd, 2021 at 03:41:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have always seen the Brexit damage as slow and incremental rather than as a big bang. Any initial problems will be masked by Covid and it may take 10 years for the UK to recover its reputation as "the sick man of Europe". The Tories are brilliant at marketing even small wins while the big stuff will be ignored by a compliant media. Brits still don't realise that income/capita is higher in Ireland than in their Great Britain and many will not notice for many years..

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Apr 3rd, 2021 at 04:33:09 PM EST
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